Posted by & filed under FaceBook.

Facebook logo

Facebook has been accused of “auto-generating” extremist content, including a celebratory jihadist video and a business page for al-Qaeda.

The material was uncovered by an anonymous whistleblower who filed an official complaint to US regulators.

Similar content for self-identified Nazis and white supremacist groups was also found online.

Facebook said it had got better at deleting extreme content but its systems were not perfect.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: May 11th, 2019

Link:
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48217827

Discussion

  1. Facebook says that its “systems are not perfect”, but how can it be making such mistakes?
  2. What steps could you make to improve the Facebook systems?

Posted by & filed under Uber.

Uber sign on car

For sale: shares in a company that has already burned through $27bn (£20.7bn; €24bn) in cash, will burn through tens of billions more of its new shareholders’ money, has never made a profit and won’t for many years – if ever.

Sounds too bad to be true, but that is precisely what is on offer when Uber shares start trading today.

It seems impossible to imagine why anyone would want to buy them, and yet market watchers expect there to be no shortage of people queuing up to buy a slice of a company whose name has become a recognised noun in dozens of languages around the world.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: May 11th, 2019

Link:
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48228812

Discussion

  1. What are some points to be made for BUYING shares in Uber?
  2. What are some points to be made for NOT BUYING shares in Uber?

Posted by & filed under Electric vehicle.

Daimler is ending sales of its diminutive all-electric smart fortwo cars in the U.S. and Canada, officially pulling the plug on a vehicle that has struggled to gain ground in North America as the German automaker prepares to bring the brand to China.

Source: Tech Crunch

Date: May 3rd, 2019

Link: https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/29/daimler-pulls-the-plug-on-electric-smart-car-sales-in-u-s-canada/

Discussion

  1. Why do you think the sale of this all-electric car stalled in Canada?
  2. Why would this vehicle be a better bet in China?

Posted by & filed under business models, Consumer Technology.

Rogers president and CEO Joe Natale at the company's annual general meeting in Toronto on Thursday.

Rogers reported 23,000 net wireless contract additions in the period ended March 31. That’s versus the consensus forecast of analysts for more than 60,000 and well off the 95,000 new post-paid customers in the year earlier first quarter.

The Toronto-based wireless, cable, internet and media company also missed analysts’ forecasts for new subscribers in its internet and cable divisions as it lost a worse-than-forecast 28,000 television customers. Natale said new cable additions were hit by macro-economic factors, including an easing of housing starts.

Source: Toronto Star

Date: May 3rd, 2019

Link: https://www.thestar.com/business/technology/2019/04/18/wireless-weakness-weighs-on-rogers-results.html

Discussion

  1. Why would wireless contracts additions be so slow to grow?
  2. What causes a person to move to a cellphone from a landline phone?

Posted by & filed under app, App Economy, Artificial intelligence.

YOU might expect to hear an angry buzzing when honeybees have been disturbed. But some apiarists reckon they can also deduce the condition of their bees from the sounds they make. A steady hum could be the sign of a contented hive; a change in tone might indicate that the bees are about to swarm. That intuition is about to be put to the test. Soon, beekeepers will be able to try to find out what is troubling a colony by listening to the buzz using a smartphone app.

The app, which is in the final stages of testing, has been developed by Jerry Bromenshenk and a group of fellow bee experts at the University of Montana. It uses a form of artificial intelligence to analyse the sound that bees are making in order to deduce whether they are suffering from a number of maladies.

Source: Bee Culture Magazine

Date: May 3rd, 2019

Link:
https://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-a-new-app-listens-to-the-problems-of-bees-matching-honey-bee-noises-to-their-ailments/

Discusssion

(Note: David Firth, the author of this blog, is the business manager and co-developer of the Bee Health Guru app

  1. What are some of the issues of pushing a smartphone technology app on to beekeepers?
  2. What are some other possible applications of this app?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

At one time, the staggering success of the iPhone helped catapult Apple to become the world’s most valuable company. Now, its lackluster smartphone sales are dragging down Apple’s business.Apple (AAPL) said Tuesday that its revenue for the first three months of 2019 declined 5% from the year prior to $58 billion as it grappled with sluggish smartphone demand. iPhone sales for the period fell 17% from the year prior.For years, Apple’s iPhone business appeared to defy gravity as the company managed to sell more devices and gradually charge more for them. But that narrative was shattered at the beginning of this year when the company warned investors that iPhone sales had taken a hit from a slowdown in China amid an ongoing trade war.

Source: CNN Technology News

Date: May 3rd, 2019

Link:
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/30/tech/apple-q2-earnings/index.html

Discussion

  1. Does it matter that iPhone sales are slowing down?
  2. What was last genuinely innovative thing Apple came up with?

Posted by & filed under FaceBook, Privacy.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Meets With Members Of Congress On Capitol Hill

The latest damning assessment of Facebook’s trampling of user privacy comes from the Canada and British Columbia privacy commissioners — which have just published the results of an investigation kicked off in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal last year.

They found the social network company committed serious contraventions of local laws and failed generally to take responsibility for protecting the personal information of Canadians.

Facebook  has disputed the findings and refused to implement the watchdogs’ recommendations — including refusing to voluntarily submit to audits of its privacy policies and practices over the next five years.

Source: Tech Crunch

Date: April 26th, 2019

Link: https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/25/facebook-broke-canadian-privacy-law-joint-probe-finds/

Discussion

  1. “Facebook’s refusal to act responsibly is deeply troubling given the vast amount of sensitive personal information users have entrusted to this company.”  And yet people will continue to use Facebook.  Why is it that most users don’t care about their own privacy?
  2. What could you do to impact how people view their own privacy online?

Posted by & filed under PayPal, Uber.

Uber office sign

Uber has revealed that it is seeking a valuation of $90bn (£70bn) in its much anticipated stock market flotation.

The taxi-app firm has said that its shares will be priced at between $44 and $50 each, with the share issue set to raise about $10bn.

As part of the offer it will sell $500m worth of shares to payment giant, PayPal.

Uber warned earlier this month that it may never make a profit.

The IPO price values the company below the $100bn some had expected it to aim for.

As well as the original “ride-hailing” business, Uber is developing driverless cars, and has a food delivery business, Uber Eats.

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: April 26th, 2019

Link:
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48063637

Discussion

  1. Why is Paypal buying half-a-billion dollars of Uber stock? What’s in it for PayPal?
  2. Why would anyone buy IPO stock in a company that is losing $1bn a quarter?

Posted by & filed under Artificial intelligence.

AI art

Last year a portrait of Edmond Belamy sold for $432,000 (£337,000).

A bit steep, you might think, for a picture of someone you’ve never heard of. And you won’t have heard of the artist either, as the picture was created by an algorithm drawing on a data set of 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th Centuries.

And to be honest, it’s a bit rubbish.

The sale, which astonished auction house Christie’s, raised many important questions. Can a computer, devoid of human emotion, ever be truly creative? Is this portrait really art? Does any of that matter if people are prepared to pay for it?

And as artificial intelligence evolves and eventually perhaps reaches or surpasses human level intelligence, what will this mean for human artists and the creative industries in general?

Source: BBC Technology News

Date: April 26th, 2019

Link:
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47700701

Discussion

  1. “In 2017, one of DeepMind’s AI programmes beat the world’s number one player of Go, an ancient and highly complex Chinese board game, after apparently mastering creative new moves and innovative strategies within days.
    Google would say that was creativity – new ways of finding solutions that it was not taught.” What do you think counts as creativity?

2. Does creativity have to solely come from humans to actually be creativity?

Posted by & filed under IT and Politics, IT Infrastructure, IT Trends.

The federal government is investing $52.4 million in an innovation network that is expected to create 18,000 skilled jobs in Waterloo, Toronto and Ottawa.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the funding for the new “Scale-up Platform” program for tech companies at the Communitech technology hub in Kitchener, Ont., on Tuesday.

The federal government says the platform will be the first of its kind in Canada, and it will incorporate the skills of Ontario’s “top innovation hubs”: Communitech, in Kitchener, the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto and Invest Ottawa.

The three will work with tech companies to grow their businesses.

Source: CBC News

Date: April 19th, 2019

Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/prime-minister-trudeau-kitchener-tech-hub-announcement-1.5099705

Discussion

  1. “”For the first time in decades, we have a crop of scale-ready firms that are on the path to $100 million. Our job — through the Scale-up Platform — is to help those high-growth firms find the talent and capital to accelerate their growth,” said Iain Klugman, President and CEO of Communitech.”  What do you think “scale-ready” means?
  2. Why do networks like these work so well for tech-related firms?